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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,622

Journal Archives

Alarming spike in coronavirus sparks fears California is 'starting to lose this battle'

(Los Angeles Times) Coronavirus cases in California continued a troubling spike this week, but it remains unclear how much worse conditions must get before officials move to slow the rapid reopening of the economy.

For the second consecutive day, California shattered a daily record for new cases Tuesday. More than 6,600 infections were reported — the largest single-day count in the state since the pandemic hit the U.S.

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 are also beginning to rise in some parts of the state, another troubling sign. Officials in Silicon Valley warned that progress against the coronavirus was eroding. Santa Clara County on Tuesday recorded its largest daily total of new cases — 121 — much worse than any single day in March or April. ...........(more)


New York MTA announces NYCT ridership surpasses two million as New York City begins Phase 2 reopenin

New York MTA announces NYCT ridership surpasses two million as New York City begins Phase 2 reopening
As ridership increases, MTA continues its 24/7 disinfecting efforts.

MTA Headquarters

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that on June 19, weekday combined ridership on New York City subways and buses surpassed two million for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.

While a significant increase since the start of the pandemic, the figure represents a decline of 74 percent from normal weekday ridership levels of 7.6 million combined riders. Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) ridership is down 85 percent from normal levels and Metro-North Railroad (Metro-North) is down 87 percent.

The MTA says it has prepared its system for further ridership gains through increased service, around-the-clock cleaning and disinfecting and requiring all customers and employees to wear masks. With mask compliance at 95 percent, the MTA continues to distribute two million masks that were contributed by the state and the city. Approximately 760 New York City School Safety Agents who have been positioned across subway stations to distribute masks will maintain their existing coverage with additional masks available at station booths. ......(more)


Wow, That Was Fast: Debt Out the Wazoo

Wow, That Was Fast: Debt Out the Wazoo
by Wolf Richter • Jun 12, 2020 •

US National Debt Spiked by $1 trillion in 5 weeks to $26 trillion. Fed monetized 65%. Business debts spike to high heaven.
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Trillions are now whooshing by at a breath-taking pace. The US gross national debt – the total of all Treasury securities outstanding – jumped by $1 trillion over the past five weeks, from May 4 through June 8, and by $2.5 trillion for the 11 weeks since March 23.

The total US national debt outstanding has reached $26 trillion, according to the Treasury Department. I’ve been fretting about this debt on my site since 2011. In recent years, I innocently added a green upward arrow with “Debt out the wazoo” to my gross-national-debt charts, unaware that this tongue-in-cheek label would turn into a factual, data-based technical term:

And think about this: The huge mountain of debt that took decades to grow to this gargantuan size has exploded by another 10% in just 11 weeks.

The curious flat spots in the chart are the periods when the national debt bounced into the Congress-imposed debt ceiling. During these periods, the government borrowed from federal pension funds and other internal sources – the “extraordinary measures” – to make ends meet, thereby continuing to borrow, and when the political charade was resolved and the debt ceiling was raised, bam, the debt jumped by hundreds of billions in weeks. Now the debt jumps by the trillions in weeks on a routine basis. ...........(more)


Not one police department in 20 largest US cities compliant with international rights laws: report

(Independent UK) Use-of-force policies in police departments in 20 of the largest cities in the US failed to meet even ”minimum standards” under international human rights guidelines, according to a report from the University of Chicago Law School.

The report from the law school’s International Human Rights Clinic, highlights American policing’s difficulty balancing power with maintaining basic human rights, and the chasm between law enforcement in the US and elsewhere.

Officers are too broadly given discretion for lethal force, effectively authorising “state-sanctioned violence” and “the exercise of arbitrary brute force, a common tool of tyrannical and despotic governments,” the report says. ............(more)


Sarah Sanders lied again and again for Trump. Now she's got her teeth into John Bolton

(Guardian UK) Donald Trump may not like reading, but he has inspired a lot of people to take up writing. Anyone remotely connected to the president appears to have an exposé of the Trump administration forthcoming. That includes Sarah Sanders, the former White House press secretary; her book, Speaking for Myself, will be released later this year.

Sanders has remained loyal to the president; instead, she directs barbs at the former national security adviser John Bolton, who most certainly has not. In an extract of her book given to the politics site Axios, she describes Bolton as being “drunk on power” and forgetting that “nobody elected him to anything”.

It is a shame Sanders has written a memoir, because she has a talent for fiction. During her two-year tenure as press secretary, Sanders proved herself a smooth and shameless liar. She maintained a straight face while arguing that Trump, who has repeatedly glorified violence, had never encouraged violence against anyone. She claimed that Trump’s firing of the FBI director, James Comey, had support from “countless members of the FBI”, before admitting under oath that this statement “was not founded on anything”. .............(more)


Dropping the dog whistle, grabbing the bullhorn

Amid protests over the killings of Black citizens that have lasted almost a month, President Trump retweeted videos of Black men attacking white victims in separate incidents — one of which occurred last year — while wondering why they did not spark protests like the nationwide demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.

Shortly after 10:30 p.m. Monday, the president retweeted a Twitter thread about an October 2019 incident in which a 28-year-old Black man was seen on a video pushing a white woman on a subway platform in Brooklyn.

“So terrible!” Trump tweeted.

The woman was not hurt. The man, described by authorities as a known subway recidivist offender, was later arrested and charged with assault. ............(more)


Presidential harassment! Why Trump believes playing the victim will help him win

Presidential harassment! Why Trump believes playing the victim will help him win
Arwa Mahdawi

The US president seems to be preparing to contest a defeat in November by railing against ‘rigged’ mail-in ballots – but his party is the one attempting to suppress voters
Tue 23 Jun 2020 07.39 EDT

(Guardian UK) Donald Trump will not go gentle into that good night: he will rage, rage, rage-tweet against the dying of his might. Indeed, he is already doing so. After a humiliating turnout at Saturday’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma – which capped one of the worst weeks of his presidency – Trump’s re-election chances look shakier by the day. Rattled and belligerent, he seems to be gearing up to contest a defeat in November.

“RIGGED 2020 ELECTION,” Trump tweeted on Monday morning. “MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!” Mercifully, he took his fingers off the caps lock key at that point, but continued to fire off unhinged tweets about his enemies exploiting the pandemic to “cheat by using Mail-Ins!”

I am sure I don’t need to tell you that there is zero evidence of foreign countries colluding to attempt to stuff US ballot boxes. Nor is there evidence to back up Trump’s frequent assertions that postal voting is corrupt. But facts don’t seem to get in the way of Trump’s feelings. There is nothing Trump loves more than playing the victim. “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” he tweeted on Monday. Along with “witch hunt”, “fake news” and “unfair”, it is one of his favourite phrases.

Trump certainly looks harassed. A viral video of his “walk of shame” after the underwhelming Tulsa rally shows a pathetic figure: his tie is undone and his shoulders are sagging. But then things have not been going well for poor Donald recently. Last Thursday, the US supreme court blocked his attempt to rescind one of the Obama administration’s signature immigration programmes. Then, a federal judge refused to block the publication of John Bolton’s tell-all memoir, which is highly critical of the president. Trump’s niece is releasing a “harrowing and salacious” book about him. His popularity is at a seven-month low and Joe Biden is leading in the national polls by double-digits. Even Trump sycophants at rightwing outlets such as Breitbart are calling his behaviour “childish, selfish and self-destructive”. ...........(more)


Florida Man accused of theft after allegedly stuffing $800 in wine down his pants

It was a vintage theft ... literally.

A man who visited the Total Wine & More outlet in Estero on Thursday allegedly took nearly $800 in wine, using multiple trips to spirit the spirits out in his pants.

In a request to try to identify the accused wine thief, the Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers provided a surveillance photograph of the man, who was wearing a mask. ...........(more)


Florida man carrying nearly 500 grams of weed tries to steal plane to meet girlfriend, police say

Florida man carrying nearly 500 grams of weed tries to steal plane to meet girlfriend, police say
Man told officers he needed to meet his girlfriend in California

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – A Florida man is behind bars after he attempted to steal an airplane at the New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport so he could fly to California to meet his girlfriend while carrying nearly 500 grams of marijuana, according to the New Smyrna Beach Police Department.

On Saturday, officers were alerted that a stolen vehicle had been found at the airport, and while in the process of locating that vehicle, officers were flagged down by a man who said it was his vehicle that was stolen.

The victim told officers that a man unknown to him jumped into the back of his truck and offered him $1,000 for a ride, according to a report. The man then got out of the truck but left a grinder, scale and cellphone behind. .............(more)


'Godzilla dust cloud' from Sahara blankets Caribbean on its way to US

'Godzilla dust cloud' from Sahara blankets Caribbean on its way to US
Air quality sinks to hazardous levels as biggest cloud seen in a generation swamps region after transatlantic journey

A vast cloud of Sahara dust is blanketing the Caribbean as it heads to the US with a size and concentration that experts say hasn’t been seen in half a century.

Air quality across most of the region reached record “hazardous” levels and experts who nicknamed the event the “Godzilla dust cloud” warned people to stay indoors and use air filters if they had them.

“This is the most significant event in the past 50 years,” said Pablo Méndez Lázaro, an environmental health specialist at the University of Puerto Rico. “Conditions are dangerous in many Caribbean islands.”

Many health specialists were concerned about those battling respiratory symptoms tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Lázaro, who is working with Nasa to develop an alert system for the arrival of Sahara dust, said the concentration was so high in recent days that it could even have adverse effects on healthy people. .............(more)


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